The Spitfire Grill is a 1996 American motion picture that tells a story of a woman who was just released from prison and goes to work in a small-town café known as The Spitfire Grill. A central theme is redemption.
The film was written and directed by Lee David Zlotoff and stars Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney and Gailard Sartain. The film won the Audience Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, prompting several distributors to enter into a bidding war in response to the positive buzz, but when the movie was finally released, audiences and critics as a whole responded less favorably than they had at Sundance.
The movie was the basis for the 2001 Off-Broadway musical of the same name by James Valcq and Fred Alley.
The story centers on a young woman named Percy (Alison Elliott) who was recently released from prison. She arrives in a small town in Maine with hopes of beginning a new life. She lands a job as a waitress in the Spitfire Grill, owned by Hannah (Ellen Burstyn), whose gruff exterior conceals a kind heart and little tolerance for the grill's regular customers who are suspicious of Percy's mysterious past. None is more suspicious than Nahum, Hannah's nephew, although his wife, Shelby, has a kinder curiosity.